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4 Die As Car Explodes in Afghanistan

April 13, 2003

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) _ A car packed with explosives exploded in eastern Afghanistan, killing four people who apparently were planning a terrorist attack, an Afghan military official said Sunday.

The blast late Saturday in Karwan Sarui, four miles east of the town of Khost, killed two unidentified Pakistani nationals and one man from Yemen, said Khial Baz, a regional commander.

Baz said the fourth man was Bacha Malkhui, a former intelligence officer for the deposed Taliban government. He was driving the car.

``They were planning some kind of terrorist attack, but we don’t know what their target was,″ Baz told The Associated Press by telephone from Khost.

Malkhui’s mother, who was passing by at the time, was wounded in the leg, Baz said.

Security forces found the vehicle’s charred remains near Malkhui’s house. Baz said the vehicle was a taxi and had come from across the border in neighboring Pakistan.

Security forces had been searching for Malkhui, after he was accused of firing two rockets toward a U.S. base in the same area a month ago, Baz said.

A search of his house overnight turned up two Kalashnikov assault rifles, Baz said.

Afghan authorities say Taliban remnants are reorganizing in an effort to destabilize the fledgling government of President Hamid Karzai.

Clashes with suspected Taliban fighters and security forces have broken out in recent weeks in northwest Badghis province as well as Paktika and Kandahar in the south.

Rockets are frequently fired at small U.S. military outposts scattered across eastern and southern Afghanistan, but they rarely cause casualties.

Coalition forces have about 11,500 soldiers in Afghanistan to hunt down remnants of the ousted Taliban regime and their allies.

Update hourly